GVPD captain leaves position for NCAA role


Courtesy / GVSU

Jonathan Carroll, Staff Writer

Grand Valley State University’s Assistant Director of Public Safety and Police Captain Jeff Stoll has recently moved on from the police force, joining the NCAA as the Associate Director of Safety and Security. 

Stoll’s departure comes after a long history with the university. Stoll is a GVSU alumni who majored in criminal justice and entered the police academy in 2001. After graduation, he joined GVPD in 2007. He rose through the ranks, and in 2018, became captain.

Stoll has long been a recognizable face in the GVSU community because of his work with GVPD and his engagement with the community, especially at GVSU sporting events.

As a student, Stoll attended many games of all kinds of sports. This continued into his work where he often enjoyed working security for varsity events. As a sergeant, he gained the responsibility of running the events and appreciated all the planning and facilitating that went into it.

Stoll said working for the NCAA was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up on.

“It had nothing to do with me wanting to leave, in fact, if you asked me three or four months ago, I would have probably told you I wasn’t going to leave,” Stoll said. 

At his new job, Stoll will have the title of associate director and is assigned to the Championships Division. There, he will be helping to assist with the safety and security for the nearly 100 annual championship events held by the NCAA across the country. Stoll said he’s excited to be able to focus entirely on sports, one of the aspects that he enjoyed the most working at GVSU.

Stoll said the part of working on campus he will miss the most is the excitement of when students return or come to campus for the first time every fall. He said helping the new students start their college lives and guide them was a very fulfilling aspect of the job, something unique to the university lifestyle.

Stoll said he has many memories and stories from his time at GVSU that speak to the uniqueness of working for a university police department. 

“I stopped this student and he had the idea that he was going to run away from the scene, and so I worked hard to catch him,” Stoll said. “When I found out he was a track athlete and I had caught him with all of my gear, it was a really proud moment for me, but I couldn’t help but joke about catching him.”

Stoll said he faced various challenges within his job. He said the community is always changing and that GVPD does not have the same officers in the force for 20 or more years, something that’s more typical in traditional police jobs. Stoll also said often the work of GVPD can go unnoticed and the positive impact they can have on the community are not always shown – especially when it comes to mental health emergencies on campus.

A replacement for Stoll’s position as GVPD police captain is yet to be determined and a specific timeline is not in place. The current GVPD Assistant Director of Public Safety for the Grand Rapids’ campus, Captain Kourosh Khatir, said that there are discussions about how they will fill the opening and that the position will “most likely be advertised in the near future and a selection made between internal and/or external candidates.”